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Postby PeterD » Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:23 pm

I know from personal experience, having visited Greece many times, that Greek sheep indeed make a "baa-baa" ([face=SPIonic]bh=, bh= [/face]) sound. I can't vouch this for sheep in other countries, though. :)

My contention is not with how some individual Greek letters may have sounded 25 centuries ago. I am resentful that these so-called Greek scholars, most of whom don't even bother to learn the living language -- modern Greek, believe that it is possible to reconstruct the actual (or something very close to it) pronunciation of the language at any point and place. If I am not mistaken, the Romans, who were tripping over themselves to learn Greek, had a hard time pronouncing it, and they even had the benefit of Greek tutors. Oh, how the Greeks must have laughed at the Romans.

At the end of the day, this rec. pr. is not but an artificial reconstruction. How annoying and absurd, indeed, that anyone can believe it sounds anything remotely like Ancient Greek. Hopefully, those who insist on vocalizing using the rec. pr. will follow William's example "to recite outside the delicate hearing of modern Greeks." William, you are a gentleman. :)

I would like to know: Do scholars of other ancient languages, say, for example, Hebrew, would they use the reconstructed pronunciation or the modern one for vocalizing it?


~Peter
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:44 am

"I am just contesting the point that there is anything loaded into the ruleset of the brain of anyone alive today, including you [me], on ancient greek tonal contour inventory." ~Elilang

You don't need to make things up, Eli. If you want to contest, contest something that was actually said.

"As you [me] are sitting out there on the limb ..." ~Elilang

Reminds me of a little poem I wrote a while back on the subject. How did it go? Ah, yes:

Arreando a la luna prendo vuelo,
y vuelto a contemplar el panorama,
con buena voluntad busco la trama
que ofrezca a las tinieblas un consuelo;

con el impulso salta el alma en celo
y se posa en lo alto de una rama,
hasta que lo gravado la reclama
y aterrizo de bruces en el suelo:

Estoy como a la hora de partida,
más cercano a la tumba que al destino;
con el burro espantado en estampida,

los trastos rebotando en el camino,
y el arriero, arreado por la vida,
corriendo tras el rastro del equino.

.

"... I am just now (gently and with the greatest respect as should be granted to an artiste) "sawing off that limb" you [me] have climbed out on. [...]. [...]. [...]." ~Elilang.

I will respond to your misplaced aggressivity with kindness, Eli. By the time I'm finished, I will have helped you realize how behind that posing as some kind of Star Trek's 7-of-9 lies a sensitive heart. As an added bonus, you will agree with me that Mr. Daitz's Greek is implausable, and to top it off, you'll have a nice place on which to hang your own hat. Ready? Hold on to your hat:

The World Wide Web is full of web pages dedicated to Classical Greek. Every other Classics Professor seems to post his or her own little discertation on reconstructed pronunciation. Many of them would be willing to give you their opinion on others' recorded examples. And of all these Professors, who did Ms. Eli choose as an authority in whom to confide her phonetic doubts? Someone who rambled for hours on perispomena and properispomena? No. Someone with exciting new theories on catathesis and subglottal pressure? Again, no. Ms. Eli chose to go to Mr. Harris, who had posted on his website an essay on beauty. On beauty, ladies and gentlemen! Was that rational? So let's talk about beauty, Eli, that dearest of friends of rationalists. How many of the Classics do you think described Greek as being an especially beautiful language? More than one? That would be more evidence than the one guy (good old Dionysius) who talked about the fifth, and he gets quoted ad nauseam. So, Eli, listen again to Mr. Daitz with your ears or whatever other organ you want, employ as much of your cerebral acumen as you want to process the input, and tell me who would describe Mr. Daitz's verborrhea as beautiful. Not me.

.

In reference to the previous posting, well said, Peter.
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Postby eliliang » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:06 pm

Bardo de Saldo wrote:"I am just contesting the point that there is anything loaded into the ruleset of the brain of anyone alive today, including you [me], on ancient greek tonal contour inventory." ~Elilang

You don't need to make things up, Eli. If you want to contest, contest something that was actually said.


I see I wasn't clear. You said earlier:

Bardo de Saldo wrote:
Bardo de Saldo wrote:
eliliang wrote:
Bardo de Saldo wrote:
Bardo de Saldo wrote:Mr. Daitz's Greek sounds wrong. I've never heard a language for the first time that sounded wrong. My English sounds as coming from a foreigner, but it doesn't sound wrong. My Mexican neighbor's English is terrible but it doesn't sound wrong. Will Annis' recitation of poetry in Mandarin doesn't sound wrong (he claims his Mandarin is not very good, and I can't judge).

Mr. Daitz sounds like a bad actor trying to be histrionic who has trained himself to do a little yodel every time he sees an accent mark.

I said it sounds wrong, not that it's wrong. It sounds unnatural, even for a histrionic performance.

"Personally, I would judge right or wrong in the following three different ways: [...]

Artistes like me have a fourth way: their sensitivity; in this case, honed by long meditation and practice on Homeric performance, and guided by my betters at Textkit.

Have you considered the rational possibility that for hearing human speech nothing beats a human ear?


When I said:

eliliang wrote:I am just contesting the point that there is anything loaded into the ruleset of the brain of anyone alive today, including you, on ancient greek tonal contour inventory.


I meant that you you identified Daitz's pronunciation as "unnatural". I interpreted that to be in the sense of "unnatural: not in accordance with or determined by nature; contrary to nature". Modern phonetic theory says that there is a tonal contour inventory for every contour tone language. For example, take Mandarin Chinese. There are certain contour tones which fit in the Chinese contour tone inventory. The rise-fall contour does not exist in the Chinese contour tone inventory. Among all polyphonic languages that ever existed and will exist naturally, there is a maximal set which contains all possible contour tones profiles". (With respect ot my earlier message, Ega of the Kra language family happens to be one of those that use more contour tone profiles than most.) Therefore, unnatural in the sense I gave would imply impossible contours. Contour profiles that never existed in Ancient Greek, and furthermore, could simply not exist in any human language (i.e., not in accordance with or determined by nature). Your comments above strongly suggest that the (trained?) human ear can judge authenticity of a polyphonic pronunciation in the absence of any living native speakers. So I return to my original comment. I am just contesting the point that there is anything loaded into the ruleset of the brain of anyone alive today, including you, on ancient greek tonal contour inventory. I claim that there is nothing in the brains or ears (trained or untrained) of any people alive today that is set up to be able to judge the authenticity of tonal contours in a language which has not been spoken in over two millennia. I'd go even further and say that to think that one could so judge authenticity based on listening to speech in a language which one has never heard native speakers is just wrong-headed. However, I invited you to judge that for yourself by listening to the Ega recording I provided the URL for earlier.

Bardo de Saldo wrote:"As you [me] are sitting out there on the limb ..." ~Elilang

Reminds me of a little poem I wrote a while back on the subject. How did it go? Ah, yes:

Arreando a la luna prendo vuelo,
y vuelto a contemplar el panorama,
con buena voluntad busco la trama
que ofrezca a las tinieblas un consuelo;

con el impulso salta el alma en celo
y se posa en lo alto de una rama,
hasta que lo gravado la reclama
y aterrizo de bruces en el suelo:

Estoy como a la hora de partida,
más cercano a la tumba que al destino;
con el burro espantado en estampida,

los trastos rebotando en el camino,
y el arriero, arreado por la vida,
corriendo tras el rastro del equino.


I find myself admiring the poetry of the verses and its meaning (via http://babelfish.astalavista.com), but unfortunately not both (since, no hablo español). Is poetry a vocation or avocation, Bardo?

Bardo de Saldo wrote:"... I am just now (gently and with the greatest respect as should be granted to an artiste) "sawing off that limb" you [me] have climbed out on. [...]. [...]. [...]." ~Elilang.

I will respond to your misplaced aggressivity with kindness, Eli.


You have just provided me with an excellent example of what I have been arguing these past several messages.

How do you know that I am being aggressive? You read it into my messages obviously, since you have neither met me in person nor even spoken to me. However, you have based your interpretation on your past experience.

Some scientists claim that humans still have instincts, a form a prewiring of the brain we are all born with. Bare your teeth at a baby who has never experienced anything but a mother's loving caresses, and that baby will probably still startle and cry. The appearance of bare teeth may have been wired genetically into us from the time we were swinging in the trees of the forest primeval.

Clearly interpretion of the emotions behind electronic symbols running before your eyes as you sit in front of your electrical appliance of a computer does not qualify to jostle that prewiring. Similarly, I would be hard pressed to be convinced that sensitivity for polyphonic speech contours goes into the pre-wiring! So from whence comes the ability to tell if a language is spoken correctly or incorrectly (or in your words above, "unnaturally") if one has never heard the language performed in nature (with native speakers)?

By the way, I am not being aggressive at all towards you. I harbor no illwill of any sort towards you. I picture you as some sort of bearded bear of person with a jovial mien, someone who will drink wine and belt out the verses of the Illiad over a campfire. :D :D :D My comments about the cutting of the limb were in jest, nothing more. :lol: The rest of the messages were by manner of intellectual discussion of differing viewpoints. :wink:

Bardo de Saldo wrote:By the time I'm finished, I will have helped you realize how behind that posing as some kind of Star Trek's 7-of-9 lies a sensitive heart. As an added bonus, you will agree with me that Mr. Daitz's Greek is implausable, and to top it off, you'll have a nice place on which to hang your own hat. Ready? Hold on to your hat:

The World Wide Web is full of web pages dedicated to Classical Greek. Every other Classics Professor seems to post his or her own little discertation on reconstructed pronunciation. Many of them would be willing to give you their opinion on others' recorded examples. And of all these Professors, who did Ms. Eli choose as an authority in whom to confide her phonetic doubts? Someone who rambled for hours on perispomena and properispomena? No. Someone with exciting new theories on catathesis and subglottal pressure? Again, no. Ms. Eli chose to go to Mr. Harris, who had posted on his website an essay on beauty. On beauty, ladies and gentlemen! Was that rational? So let's talk about beauty, Eli, that dearest of friends of rationalists. How many of the Classics do you think described Greek as being an especially beautiful language? More than one? That would be more evidence than the one guy (good old Dionysius) who talked about the fifth, and he gets quoted ad nauseam. So, Eli, listen again to Mr. Daitz with your ears or whatever other organ you want, employ as much of your cerebral acumen as you want to process the input, and tell me who would describe Mr. Daitz's verborrhea as beautiful. Not me.


I have never once called Mr. Daitz rendition beautiful. It is not beauty that is on trial here. I have never even been asked my opinion, nor have I offered one on whether I consider Daitz's Greek pronunciation to be "beautiful". I have only asked if it is consistent or inconsistent with the evidence we have on the ancient Greek language. I have asked, because "I don't know". I am not an expert. I know only what I can read, and then not even that.

I think that I have some judgement myself on beauty. Years ago, I did a tour as a fulltime fashion design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the garment district of Manhattan. Before that, I studied Art History. Beauty and aesthetics are not foreign to me. However, I strongly believe in applying qualitative judgements to those domains which they are best suited and quantitative judgements to those appropriate for quantitative judgements. You make an eloquent case, but it does not convince me that we can decide on the authenticity of Daitz's pronunciation based on aesthetical judgement. We can judge the aesthetics of his rendition of Greek, not its authenticity.

Now, perhaps that is all that you were getting at - that Daitz's Greek is aesthetically ugly. Then I have misinterpreted your comment that it is "unnatural" as meaning that it could not occur in natural human language, when perhaps you only meant that it was ugly.

Furthermore, as you must be aware, aesthetics is highly culture-specific. In the Pa Dong Karen tribe of Burma, women with elongated necks are considered aesthetically pleasing (i.e., http://www.gluckman.com/LongNk.jpg). I don't know about your aesthetical judgement on this, but my own aesthetics finds it displeasing.

My view is that Daitz's Greek pronunciation may be "ugly" based on my 20th Century culture-specific frame of reference, but that there are many naturally-occurring and man-made things in this world (e.g., http://www.ethnix.com/Figures/CATEGORY/Fertility/0nimba.jpg), which are ugly based on my ethnocentric aesthetical framework, which nonetheless have a right to exist and in my view, ugliness is not a criterion for judging if they could have existed.

Drawing on my Art History background, I want to give the example of a very famous art appreciator. His name was Bernard Berenson (http://www.hup.harvard.edu/itatti/villa_berenson.html). He was perhaps the last American dean of Italian Renaissance paintings, and made a private fortune working for art collectors and dealers judging authenticity by visual inspection. He felt that for the masters of the Italian Renaissance, he knew there works so well, that he could look at any work of that period and give an attribution to an artist. He would sometimes spend hours studying a painting. He would then make his pronouncement. And you know what? With the advent of x-rays and modern technologies, we have found that many of his attributions were wrong.

So, returning to you earlier rhetorical question:
Bardo de Saldo wrote:Have you considered the rational possibility that for hearing human speech nothing beats a human ear?


My answer would still have to be no. Ears (and the brains behind them) are good at judging aesthetics of an aural performance based on an aesthetical framework, just as eyes (and the brains behind them) are good at judging the aesthetics of a visual performance based on an aesthetical framework. But they are no better at judging authenticity of a pronunciation in a language that has no native speakers in two millennia than eyes are at judging authenticity of works of visual art.

By the way, in case your pre-wiring is still jangling that I am baring my teeth, let me again say that all my comments are strictly made for the purpose of having a stimulating intellectual discourse, and I absolutely am not baring my teeth at you and am not attacking you in any way. (Be not afraid. :wink:)

In reference to the previous posting, well said, Peter.


I agree.
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Postby PeterD » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:13 pm

Hi.

This is, of course, off topic. I do apologize to Timotheus.

elis wrote:Yes, i consider modern greeks culturally balkans. And i dont see why one shouldnt use this turkish word as a label when there's so many turkish words in the m.greek vocabulary.

Yes, Elis, there are quite a few Turkish words -- mostly nouns associated with Turkish customs and habits -- that have entered the Greek lexicon. What can I say? The Greeks were too busy chasing the Turks out of Greek lands to worry about removing Turkish words. Let's give a sample of these Turkish words, shall we?
    [face=SPIonic]tempe/lhj[/face] "lazy"

    [face=SPIonic]mpountrou/mi[/face] "dungeon"

    [face=SPIonic]ntabatzh/j[/face] "pimp"

    [face=SPIonic]nargile/j[/face] "narghile"

    [face=SPIonic]mpekrh/j[/face] "drunkard"

about your last point, the hellenization, one has to be just filed with patriotic propaganda to deny that during the last 2 centuries -or since the creation of the m. greek state - there's been a violent hellenization (languagewise) of many peoples that made the mistake to have another language as mothertongue.

I am a lover not a propagandist. :) But you are correct. The Greek state did "force" non Greek speakers along its northern frontiers to learn Greek. What was wrong with that policy? It would have been kind of negligent for the Greek state not to have done so. Try living in a country where you don't know the language and will see how fast you'll move up the economic ladder. The descendants of these people are today full-fledged, proud GREEK citizens.



my point was that this attitude of many modern greek scholars has also to do with them being g.o.

My dear Elis, the vast majority of the Gr. pop. is Gr. Orthodox.

..., the reconstructed pronunciation mighty be imperfect, filled w/ gaps, flaws etc, but the m.greek one is just paranoid.

[face=SPIonic])/Ax, fi/le, tw/ra ta\ xala/same[/face].:wink:

[face=SPIonic]Kalwsori/sate sto[/face] textkit.:)

~Peter
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
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Postby Timotheus » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:46 pm

hey Peter

no need to appologize. it has been interesting to witness the dialog of ideas, and I did learn somthing.

the answer is NOBODY KNOWS. And in truth it is best guess.

so as long as I am trying to use the accent for main pitch and if it comes out more "spanish" in sound, thats ok.
I have not listened to modern greek speakers only some athenean radio but with musical instruments and all intailed into song I couldn't come up with a good accent to copy.

Perhaps if enough folks were to get together in my area once in a while we could read together and come up with our best guess accent. Until then I'll just do my best.
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Postby Timotheus » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:42 am

Ok i made my last post then fell onto this...

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... cents.html


If he says is true then I do want to hear it and do it right so now back to the beginning where do I find somthing i can hear in order to please the senses as well as the intellect?
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pronunciation

Postby elis » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:40 am

this came out rather long, my apologies.

mostly nouns associated with Turkish customs and habits

tempe/lhj "lazy"

mpountrou/mi "dungeon"

ntabatzh/j "pimp"

nargile/j "narghile"

mpekrh/j "drunkard"


now, let's not make people think turkish habits and customs are primary lazyness, dark prison cells, forced prostitution, smoking, and alcohol abuse! :)


One could endessly cite m.greek words of origin other than ancient greek. We couldnt even talk properly without these words. And ofcourse there's not only turkish, but everything from latin to slav to italian. quick sampling from my surroundings:

karekla < charegla venet. chair
tasaki<tasi turk. ashtray
ghiasemi< turk. yasemin (perhaps goes back to iasmos)
porta < porta lat. door,
pomolo < pomolo ital. doorknob
kanapes < canape (french) < conopeum lat. <konopeion ancient.greek :)

Ofcourse that isnt to say that the majority of our everyday vocabulary doesnt have roots in ancient greek.
I got rather moved when i found in homer the word skeparnon, which is still used by builders (as skeparni,neut).


The Greek state did "force" non Greek speakers along its northern frontiers to learn Greek. What was wrong with that policy? It would have been kind of negligent for the Greek state not to have done so. Try living in a country where you don't know the language and will see how fast you'll move up the economic ladder. The descendants of these people are today full-fledged, proud GREEK citizens.


wow. Perhaps the destruction of many local cultures/dialects/tongues, that's what was wrong with this policy.
Anyway, like any other modern state that respects its being, greece had to be based on some sort of national identity, some cultural unity of its citizens. Since such a unity was non existent -heck, the very idea of belonging to a nation did not exist for these people, it had to be constructed.
Procrustes comes to mind.

My dear Elis, the vast majority of the Gr. pop. is Gr. Orthodox.


i know, church bells wake me up at 7am every sunday. but since we get many many immigrants during the last years this percentage will - hopefully,fingers crossed - become much lower.

My point was, a reason most m.greek scholars defend m.greek pronunciation is that they think they belong to an imaginary continuity from Plato to Chrysostomos and Romanos to the late byzantine scholars.
Kazantzakis already pointed out that this is a self-deception. he added that it's a fecund self-deception. perhaps it's about time we consider the possibility it to be a sterile one.

the reconstructed pronunciation mighty be imperfect, filled w/ gaps, flaws etc, but the m.greek one is just paranoid.

)/Ax, fi/le, tw/ra ta\ xala/same


philtate Peter,
the only reason i can think of, for a m.greek to use m.greek pronunciation, is convention/ease. i wouldn't say it's a false method when the text is "meaning-oriented" (philosophy, history etc). One can read Aristotle just fine this way, keeping always in mind that she is pronouncing falsely.
Out of the question in poetry. only the content remains this way; the form just breaks apart. As far as i can tell, even something basic like daktulikos exametros becomes obscure.

mi/nin a/ide thea/, pilia/deo achili/os ?

ofcourse, i'm not saying that pleasure cannot be drawn out of poetry this way.

on the other hand i can only think of two reasons a m.greek would believe m.greek pronunciation is linguistically correct - i'm not talking about koine: nationalistic illusions or inability of comprehension (well, perhaps this boils down to one reason).


Kalwsori/sate sto textkit


efcharisto poli, kalos sas vrika.
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Postby eliliang » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:47 am

Timotheus wrote:Ok i made my last post then fell onto this...

http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... cents.html


If he says is true then I do want to hear it and do it right so now back to the beginning where do I find somthing i can hear in order to please the senses as well as the intellect?


This was exactly what I read which had me corresponding with Prof. Harris. How can he assert that the pitch accent is beautiful when (perk up your ears now Bardo :wink: ) all the examples I find are so ugly.

You can go back to the post where I dialog with Prof. Harris about this. It is 13 messages back.
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Postby Timotheus » Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:37 am

Eliliang wrote: "This was exactly what I read which had me corresponding with Prof. Harris. How can he assert that the pitch accent is beautiful when (perk up your ears now Bardo :wink: ) all the examples I find are so ugly.

You can go back to the post where I dialog with Prof. Harris about this. It is 13 messages back.


sorry for some reason I missed it or just didn't make the connection by just trying to follow the dialoge.

however he seems to summarize sappho (perhaps not a notation as to where it can be gleemed {bibliography, footnote...}) for which he makes his assertions.
He says:
"Lovely indeed are the "interwoven cadences" of Sappho, as Dionysus put it, the many-colored phrases which combine musically in every sentence of Plato's art-prose.:


Now I have gone back to read it. I understood most of it however some I could not (expresions of musical notation).

if you learn what he has come up with in recordings -do let me know :)

thanks EL.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Oct 08, 2005 8:43 am

I feel compelled to defend the pitch accent.

Here are a few lines of dactylic hexameter in English (from the Odyssey, translated by William Cullen Bryant):

Now as he | reached, in his | course, that | isle far | off in the | ocean,
Forth from the | dark blue | swell of the | waves he | stepped on the | sea-beach,

The difference between English hexameter and Ancient Greek verse is in the rules regarding making syllables long by position. Instead of having two or more consonants following the verb, a syllable is long by position in Modern English if and only if it contains two or more consonants, regardless of whether they are before or after the verb. (Notice that in the first line, "in the" is taken to be two short syllables, where it would be long-short in Ancient Greek.)

I remember reading somewhere that this is one of the differences between pitch and stress languages. (I do not remember where I read it, though, so I can't go and check it again.) This would be why, even when the stress accent had become common in normal Greek speech, they continued to recite poetry with a pure pitch accent. To do otherwise would be to break the metre.


I may be that speaking with neither a pitch or stress accent will preserve the meter, but is it even possible to speak with no accent at all?

It seems possible to me that the difference in said syllable-length rules may in fact be related directly to the fact that the pitch only changes on the vowels. If this is the case, then a pitch accent of some sort will be required to preserve the metre.






Now to the grave… The acute indicated a high tone in that it indicates that the pitch falls on the next syllable. However, if there is no acute or circumflex on the preceding syllable, then the syllable will be slightly higher than its preceding syllable by default. In that sense, you could say that the grave indicates a slight rise if you want to be pedantic.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:35 pm

EDIT : Ignore this post, I realize that I made an error.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:50 pm

"Where can I find Will Annis' recitation of Mandarin poetry?" ~Elilang

All you have to do is ask him.

"How's about sending us a URL for one of your recordings?"

I'm afraid my recordings don't have an URL. Once I become shameless enough, I can send you an email with an attachment.

"I'd go even further and say that to think that one could so judge authenticity based on listening to speech in a language which one has never heard native speakers is just wrong-headed." ~Elilang.

Nobody (that includes me) has ever said or implied in this forum that when they hear the real thing they'll be able to recognize it.

"I interpreted that to be in the sense of "unnatural: not in accordance with or determined by nature; contrary to nature"." ~Elilang

I hate to be obvious (and rational), but since Mr. Daitz is, after all, human, and his recording came from his vocal cords, I couldn't possibly be refering to that sense of "unnatural". Try "Contrived or constrained; artificial". If you were familiar with Indo-European languages but had never heard Spanish, and I sent you a recording of me speaking Spanish like Mr. Robotto, you would be unusually wise in defining my Spanish as wrong sounding. If you had never heard French and I sent you a recording of me speaking French pronouncing every other syllable in my highest pitch and the rest in my lowest pitch you would impress us all with your sharpness by saying it sounded unnatural. That wouldn't mean that you would be able to tell the real thing when confronted with it.

"I find myself admiring the poetry of the verses ..." ~Elilang

Did you really like it, or are you just saying?

"Is poetry a vocation or avocation, Bardo?" ~Elilang

Depends on who you ask. Some members of my family might define it as a cross (for them) to bear.

"... I am not being aggressive at all towards you." ~Elilang

Excuse, then, my paranoia. I've become very susceptible since I started barding in public. Good thing I chose kindness instead of a very frightening alternative.

"... aesthetics is highly culture-specific."

I am a direct (if bastard) descendant of the Roman ear and the Greek eye.

"... all the examples I find are so ugly." ~Elilang

They fall in two categories: the histrionic and the dead. Our hopes lie in Will!

I'm really not very picky. If someone sounds alive and natural and I can hear the pitch go up at the accents, I'll call it good. If it isn't Attic, we'll say it's Ithacan.

"It seems possible to me that the difference in said syllable-length rules may in fact be related directly to the fact that the pitch only changes on the vowels. If this is the case, then a pitch accent of some sort will be required to preserve the metre." ~Eureka

Quantitative metre and stress accents don't exclude each other. Take Latin, for example.
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Postby Eureka » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:10 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:"It seems possible to me that the difference in said syllable-length rules may in fact be related directly to the fact that the pitch only changes on the vowels. If this is the case, then a pitch accent of some sort will be required to preserve the metre." ~Eureka

Quantitative metre and stress accents don't exclude each other. Take Latin, for example.

I didn't say that they did. I said that the rules regarding syllables long by position are different in Modern English from how they were in Ancient Greek, and that the rules are the result of the different pronunciation systems.

The obvious question about Latin quantitative verse is, did it follow the Modern English or Ancient Greek rules with regard to long-by-position?

If they followed the Greek rules, then it means one of three things:

1) Latin quantitative verse never really worked.
- This is very unlikely.

2) The Modern English rules are the result of the particularly strong stress accent used in this language, and therefore didn't affect Latin because its stress accent is much weaker.
- This is quite feasible. After all, all languages tend to include pitch variations of some sort (except for the hosts on CNN :wink: ), so it may be a question of whether the stress variations are overwhelming the pitch variations in the language in question.

It is easy to see how large stress variations tie all consonants to the vowel in their syllable: It is because they are pronounced at the same volume as the vowel on their syllable.

Conversely, consonants are pronounced at the pitch of their preceding vowel, and therefore strong pitch variations will tend to tie all consonants to the preceding vowel.

3) Latin quantitative verse was pronounced in a style mimicking Greek bards (i.e. with totally synthetic pitch accent, and no stress accent).
- I guess this is possible, considering that the Romans copied quantitative verse from the Greeks. But, if it's true, there'd have to be some reference to it in the literature.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:13 pm

I stand corrected, Eureka. Thanks for the clarification.

"The obvious question about Latin quantitative verse is, did it follow the Modern English or Ancient Greek rules with regard to long-by-position?" ~Eureka.

I take it that you meant whether English got its rules from Latin or Greek. I've read they got them from Provenzal trouvadors, who I guess translated quantitative forms from Latin for romantic reasons to fit their stressed language. I've read a bit about English versification, and this is the first time I hear that there are rules in English for syllable length. An English dactyl is supposed to be tonic-atonic-atonic, not long-short-short. The only relation I can find (playing it by ear) between English long vowels and their stress is that long vowels always fall on the tonic syllable. In Spanish, which in theory doesn't have long or short vowels (tell that to the Mexicans), stressed vowels also sound a bit longer than unstressed ones.

Going back to Mr. Daitz: what's your opinion on his metric performance? I think that he does a good job at getting those syllable lengths right, although the result doesn't sound quite rhythmic to me. I'm particularly interested in Eli's opinion. :wink:
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Postby Eureka » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:05 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:"The obvious question about Latin quantitative verse is, did it follow the Modern English or Ancient Greek rules with regard to long-by-position?" ~Eureka.

I take it that you meant whether English got its rules from Latin or Greek. I've read they got them from Provenzal trouvadors, who I guess translated quantitative forms from Latin for romantic reasons to fit their stressed language.

So, you're saying, Modern English and Latin use the same long-by-position rules?
Bardo de Saldo wrote: I've read a bit about English versification, and this is the first time I hear that there are rules in English for syllable length. An English dactyl is supposed to be tonic-atonic-atonic, not long-short-short.

There is very little quantitative verse written in Modern English. What you're describing are the rules of qualitative verse.

Bardo de Saldo wrote:Going back to Mr. Daitz: what's your opinion on his metric performance? I think that he does a good job at getting those syllable lengths right, although the result doesn't sound quite rhythmic to me.

I couldn't possibly be more unimpressed with Professor Daitz. If any scientist turned in such shabby work, he'd be stacking supermarket shelves within a few months. Clearly classics professors live life by a different (and decadent) set of rules.

It's quite clear that he has done no serious research into human speech patterns, and has merely had an uneducated guess based on a few scraps of Greek writings he may have read. And while that, in itself, is perfectly fine, if (and only if) his "reconstructed" accent were purely for his personal use, the good professor has to publish his recordings on the internet, and even sells his Cacofonic wailings to unsuspecting victims. Hear the whole Iliad, in his inimitable (thank god for that) style! :evil:

(So yes, it doesn't sound quite rhythmic to me either.)
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:48 pm

"So, you're saying, Modern English and Latin use the same long-by-position rules?" ~Eureka

No, and I realize that I wasn't answering your question. By 'translated' I meant that they adapted quantitative forms to qualitative verse. I have no idea from where quantitative English verse got its rules. Maybe from your translator of the Odyssey? There's a Spanish poet, Agustín García Calvo, who's translating the Iliad to Spanish in dactyllic hexameters. My guess is that he got the rules for the "Spanish dactyllic hexameter" from his posterior nether regions.

I've read those verses of the Odyssey in English trying to make the long and short syllables as indicated, and I sounded just like Professor Daitz!

"...even sells his Cacofonic wailings to unsuspecting victims." ~Eureka

Not so unsuspecting! I hear most of his orders come from Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.
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Postby Eureka » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:14 am

Bardo de Saldo wrote:I've read those verses of the Odyssey in English trying to make the long and short syllables as indicated, and I sounded just like Professor Daitz!

I think what we have here is a dialect problem. Assuming Bryant was English, then your rhotic dialect simply won't do.

Try pronouncing it like this:
Now as he | reached, in his | course, that | isle fah | roff in the | ocean,
Forth frm the | dark blue | swell of the | waves he | stepped on the | sea-beach,


Smooth.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:34 pm

Reciting the passage I can make the syllables long/short without making it sound terribly affected.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:54 am

I've been misspelling your name all along, eliliang. Sorry.
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